Hafeez directs for smooth wheat, sugar supply at reasonable prices

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh Monday directed the provincial governments to follow a self-sustaining model and streamline daily release of wheat to ensure steady supply in the provinces as well as districts.

The minister was chairing the meeting of the National Price Monitoring Committee (NPMC) here.

He directed the Ministry of National Food Security and Research (NFS&R) to chalk out a comprehensive strategy to ensure smooth supply of wheat flour at reasonable rates for the general public.

He also urged the provincial governments to continue taking necessary steps to ensure provision of basic items at affordable prices across the country.

The minister also directed Ministry of Industries and Production to continuously monitor stocks of sugar, its supply position in the market and prices throughout the country for the consumers.

Earlier, NPMC reviewed the price trend of essential commodities especially wheat, sugar and edible oil during the week.

Finance secretary briefed the meeting that weekly Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI) registered a decline of 0.22% and the main drivers behind decrease in SPI are falling prices of eggs, tomatoes, potatoes, onions and chicken. Prices of 21 basic items remained stable whereas 07 items registered a decline during the week.

Ministry of NFS&R apprised NPMC that all stakeholders were on board with reference to existing position of wheat stock in the country.

Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research, Syed Fakhar Imam assured the committee that all possible measures would be taken to ensure smooth supply of wheat across the country.

Federal Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar updated NPMC about the recent decline in international prices of palm oil which would eventually reduce the upward pressure on the prices of edible oil in the domestic market.

Member, Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) updated NPMC about the benefits of recently developed dashboard of prices of essential items and progress on its implementation in coordination with the provinces.

The committee directed PBS to provide necessary support to the provinces to make the system fully functional for vigilant monitoring of prices of essential commodities and to remove price disparity across the country.

Among others, the meeting was attended by Minister for NFS&R, Syed Fakhar Imam, Federal Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar, Adviser to the PM on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, SAPM on Revenue Dr Waqar Masood, Provincial Chief Secretaries, Secretary Ministry of Industries and Production, Additional Secretary Ministry of NFS&R, Additional Secretary Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, Chairman Federal Board of Revenue, Member Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP), Chairman Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP), MD Utility Stores Corporation (USC), Member IT/HRM & Member National Accounts from PBS and senior officers of the Finance Division.